Mitochondrial genetic haplogroups and depressive symptoms: A large study among people in North America

Nicola Veronese, Trevor Thompson, Nicola Veronese, Andre F. Carvalho, Jacopo Demurtas, Ai Koyanagi, Stefania Maggi, Brendon Stubbs, Marco Solmi, Mario Zoratti, Alberto Vaona

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background A possible relationship between mitochondrial haplogroups and psychiatric diseases (e.g. schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) has been postulated, but data regarding depression is still limited. We investigated whether any mitochondrial haplogroup carried a significant higher risk of depressive symptoms in a large prospective cohort of North American people included in the Osteoarthritis Initiative. Methods Cross sectional data was derived from the Osteoarthritis Initiative. The haplogroup was assigned through a combination of sequencing and PCR-RFLP techniques. All the mitochondrial haplogroups were named following this nomenclature: H, U, K, J, T, V, SuperHV, I, W, X or Others. Depression was ascertained through the 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression (CES-D), with ≥16 indicating depressive symptoms. Results Overall, 3601 Caucasian participants (55.9% women), mean age of 61.7±9.3 years were included. No difference was observed in mitochondrial haplogroups frequency among those with depressive symptoms (n=285, =7.9% of the baseline population) compared to participants with no depressive symptoms (N=3316) (chi-square test=0.53). Using a logistic regression analysis, adjusted for eight potential confounders, with those having the haplogroup H as the reference group (the most common haplogroup), no significant mitochondrial haplogroup was associated with prevalent depressive symptoms. The same results were evident in secondary analysis in which we matched depressed and non-depressed participants for age and sex. Limitations Cross-sectional design; only CES-D for evaluating mood; participants not totally representative of general population. Conclusions We found no evidence of any relationship between specific mitochondrial haplogroups and depressive symptoms. Future longitudinal research is required to confirm/ refute these findings. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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